Brian Cooley returns to the Jackrabbit coaching staff in
2012-13 for a sixth season overall, his fourth as an assistant coach after
working two seasons on the SDSU bench as a graduate assistant.
"Brian is the perfect addition to our staff," said Nagy. "He
gives us continuity, a great basketball mind and recruiting ties to an untapped
area for our program. He's the kind of person I want our players to
Cooley came to South Dakota State after working as an
assistant under Jason Ryan at Bellevue East High School in Bellevue, Neb., in
In addition to coaching, Cooley worked at camps and clinics
for Snow Valley Basketball School and for Five Star Basketball Camp.
A Papillion, Neb., native and 2002 graduate of
Papillion-LaVista High School, Cooley earned all-state honorable mention in his
senior year, as he led the Monarchs baseball team to a third-place finish at
the Nebraska State Tournament.
Cooley also led the Monarch basketball team to the
postseason in 2001 and 2002, earning all-state honorable mention honors in
Papillion-LaVista High school inducted Cooley into its
basketball hall of fame in 2002.
Cooley then took his game to Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln,
Neb., where he played four years for the Prairie Wolves.
Cooley's best season with the Wolves came in 2004-05, when
averaged 8.9 points per game in 24 games, including 18 starts.
A team captain as a senior in 2005-06, Cooley played in all
27 games, including 19 starts, and did most of his damage on defense, which
earned him the Wolves Defensive Player of the Year honors.
More than just a great all-around athlete, Cooley also
earned GPAC Scholar Athlete honors and made the dean's list in 2005-06.
Cooley graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan in 2006 with a
Bachelor of Arts degree in health and physical education.
In addition to his duties as the team's academic and summer
camp coordinator, Cooley works with the guards in perimeter development, game
preparation as well as in recruiting.
Cooley graduated with his master's degree in
sports pedagogy from South Dakota State in the spring of 2009.